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Can a DUI conviction cost someone their job?

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2024 | DUI Charges |

Those arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) offenses typically know that they face major consequences in the event of a conviction. A judge could sentence them to incarceration and order them to pay fines. They might also lose their driver’s licenses.

Beyond that, it is common for people to worry that a DUI charge might theoretically cost them their job. If someone drives for a living and the offense occurred while they were on the clock, then the chances of losing a job may be relatively high. But, does someone arrested for a DUI on their own time need to worry about it affecting their employment?

Companies may have zero-tolerance policies

Many employers have specific standards for workers that include rules against any sort of criminal activity. These employers often perform background checks when hiring and may also take punitive actions against anyone convicted of a crime while employed there. Some people lose their jobs as soon as their employers learn about their convictions. Other times, they may keep their jobs but may lose out on future opportunities for Promotions or raises because they can no longer pass a criminal background check.

Penalties can affect someone’s work performance

Depending on what sentence a judge imposes for a DUI conviction, an employee could theoretically have trouble fulfilling all of their job responsibilities. If someone needs a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to do their job, they may not be able to work because they become ineligible for a CDL after their conviction. If someone drives for their job even occasionally, their license suspension could render them incapable of meeting their job responsibilities.

Even if someone doesn’t have to drive for work, they have to drive to get to work. The loss of a driver’s license can make someone unreliable. They might show up late for work or miss days because of issues with public transportation or ridesharing. Unreliable workers may also have a harder time obtaining promotions in the future due to a period of regular tardiness or frequent absences.

The best way to ensure that a DUI arrest does not damage someone’s career is to assertively defend against pending DUI charges. Avoiding a DUI conviction can help someone preserve their career despite a recent arrest.